If you missed it – there was an important change on Universal Credit in last week’s budget. This was to deal with concerns about how people would cope financially while waiting for their initial Universal Credit claim to be paid. This is important for landlords who might be worried about how budgeting issues in this period would affect rent arrears.
The text below has been taken straight from ‘gov.uk’ so it’s as official as you can get …
“Households in need who qualify for Universal Credit will be able to access a month’s worth of support within five days, via an interest-free advance, from January 2018. This can be repaid over 12 months. Claimants will be eligible for Universal Credit from the day they apply, rather than after seven days. Housing Benefit will continue to be paid for two weeks after a Universal Credit claim. Low-income households in areas where private rents have been rising fastest will receive an extra £280 on average in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.”
The full budget announcement is on gov.uk here …
There is also a supporting document here on the main budget page of gov.uk which gives details about some other UC changes. It is well worth having a look at. One point it contains that I’m sure landlords will be interested in, is that the government intends “making it easier for claimants to continue having their housing costs paid directly to landlords once they are on Universal Credit”
If and when more detail becomes available on this – we will of course update you.